BLOGMAS DAY 21: ALADDIN THE MUSICAL REVIEW

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 21! I’ve been working on this post all day, hence why it’s a tad late, but I’m super excited for you guys to read it! It’s been a while since I’ve been to the theatre, with my last trip being to see Riverdance in Manchester’s Apollo theatre to write a review for The Mancunion.

Over in Australia you can get super cheap tickets for shows if you get them from the box office two hours before the performance starts. As Maya and I are on a traveller’s budget we thought why not do that for Aladdin at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, so we queued up two hours before rush tickets went on sale and ended up paying $45 for seats that would have normally been $195. When we were seated in the theatre we realised how lucky we were to get such seats. We were only 8 rows from the front and smack bang in the middle with a perfect view of the entire stage!

As the lights dimmed the orchestra played the familiar sound of Arabian Nights for the opening number. Ainsley Melham and Arielle Jacobs, who were playing Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, respectively, really did their roles justice through pitch perfect vocals and their portrayal of their character’s forbidden love.

Although the musical is an adaption of the original Disney film there were loads of new songs to make the show flow more smoothly and keep the audience entranced. ‘Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim’ had me bouncing around in my seat at its catchy chorus and questionable dance moves. Instead of having Aladdin’s monkey sidekick, Abu was replaced by the three troublemaking companions featured in the aforementioned musical number. This brought a refreshing feeling to the show as their humorous input could not have been done by keeping the non-talking original character, and their rescue mission song “High Adventures” was actually one of my favourites. Iago, Jafar’s dastardly parrot, was also replaced by a sneaky right-hand man who both Maya and I thought was hilarious.

‘Friend Like Me’ was by far the most spectacular scene and longest musical number of the show. Michael James Scott played a perfect sassy Genie, and the modern, extended twist on the song along with cameo lines from other Disney classics had the crowd laughing and singing along. The stage was set with sequins and jewels to imitate the Cave of Wonders, and there was always something new and shiny that caught your eye.  

As a child I always loved the ‘A Whole New World’ scene of the 1992 classic, and as it was brought to life on stage every audience member was left mesmerised by the breathtaking magic carpet illusion on a backdrop of a starry night sky.

I felt that the final confrontation between Aladdin and Jafar was short lived and seemed quite rushed, but nevertheless that didn’t put a dampener on the rest of the show, and both of us came out of the theatre gushing about how great the night was and how we would gladly go see it again before it closes.

Obviously I couldn’t take any pictures of the performance itself but check out the few photos I did get to take throughout the day below!

Aladdin is showing at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, until the 26th of March 2017. 

Until tomorrow guys,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 20: DARLING HARBOUR FIREWORKS

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 20! In my December Bucket List post I mentioned that I really wanted to go and watch the fireworks down at Darling Harbour before Christmas. Last night I finally got to tick that off the list as Maya and I took a walk around Sydney to see the Christmas lights and ended the night at the firework display.

On the way to Darling Harbour we stopped off at the Queen Victoria building to admire the Swarovski tree which was spectacular. It stood through the middle of three floors and had crystals and lights hanging from its branches. Afterwards we walked past Bloch and I got so excited because yesterday I watched a video of their pointe shoes Christmas tree but didn’t even realise it was the Sydney store, so imagine my excitement when we walked by and there it was!

The fireworks at the harbour only lasted 10 minutes or so but they were wonderful and as they’re on every night until the 24th I’ll probably end up going to watch them again. Plus I’d take any excuse to buy an ice cream and sit along the calm waterfront again. The whole night made me super excited for the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks at Circular Quay which I’m sure will be stunning, and yes I will be writing a post on those too.

Until tomorrow,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 19: FAVOURITE BLOGGERS THIS MONTH

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 19! When I find blogs I like I always spend at least an hour scrolling back through their archives reading any post that catches my eye. There are a couple that I’ve really enjoyed reading this month, especially because their posts have been Christmas themed, so for today’s blogmas post I’ve rounded them up into a list for you guys to check out too!

1. Tea Bee 
Tania’s lifestyle, beauty and travel blog is so aesthetically pleasing, which is what originally roped me in, and her Blogmas posts have been so creative and have really gotten me into the Christmas spirit when I’ve been missing home. My favourite festive posts of hers so far so far is Beauty Advent Calender Wishlist, Winter Wonderland and 7 Ways to Help You Get Into the Christmas Spirit.

2. The Scarlet State 
I only just started reading Sarah’s blog a few days ago after I saw it on the Blogosphere Magazine website. Already I’ve read her posts back to October 2015 (and now I sound obsessed don’t I), but she’s written so many interesting posts how could I not? Her post “A Peek Inside my Sketchbook, Pricess & Style” was such a great way to show that all pieces of work before the final product don’t have to be perfect, and I like that her posts aren’t constrained to one particular niche. I’m always surprised by what pops up on the next page when scrolling through her blog.

3. Milk Bubble Tea 
Becky hasn’t been doing daily Blogmas posts but the ones she has done have been good reads and there’s something about her photography that makes me want to buy my camera now (better get saving the $$$). Reading her post “An Explanation” made me appreciate the little things we sometimes take for granted and “Cosying Up For Christmas” had me feeling festive before I had even finished reading.

4. A Girl Recommends 
Rachel was actually one of Liv Living Life’s first followers, and since then I’ve followed and kept up with her blog too. Her Blogmas posts so far have been so good I’m actually really loving them, with my personal favourites being “Winter Date Ideas” (so cute!) and her mince pies baking post. Even though it wasn’t technically a Blogmas post her DIY Advent Calender has made me so excited for next Christmas so I can make one too, it’s so creative and I never would have thought to do it otherwise.

So these are the four bloggers I’m seriously loving right now, and hopefully you guys will give them a read and think the same! They’re all such brilliant writers and their blogs have been put together so well I can only hope that one day my blog will be just as good.
Until tomorrow,
Liv
xo

BLOGMAS DAY 18: THE CHRISTMAS TAG PART 2


It’s Blogmas day 18 which means only one week until Christmas! Today I thought it would be a good idea to do the second part of the Christmas Tag. I found these questions on Milk Bubble Tea in a post from 2014, and because there were a few questions that were in the tag I did the other day I’ve taken some off and was left with these.

1. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I don’t have one in particular, just every year when I spend it with my Mum.

2. Favourite Christmas gift ?
On the spot I don’t have a particular favourite but a few years ago my Mum asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said Harry Potter Studio Tour tickets, thinking she wouldn’t get them because they’re pricey and the trip to London was a trek. But on Christmas morning I opened a seemingly normal envelope and inside were two tickets, I actually started crying!
A present I remember getting as a child was Heeleys and I was in my element. I spent the whole day practising how to wheel about on them and I used them all the time for at least a year. Does anyone else remember Heeleys?

3. Favourite Christmas scent?
It’s got to be the smell of our fry-up breakfast on Christmas morning. Either that or the smell of freshly baked gingerbread cookies.

4. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
I don’t think I do actually. Christmas Eve isn’t really a thing in our house apart from doing last minute shopping or wrapping.

5. What tops your tree?
As we had a fibre optic tree we didn’t put anything on the top but before that tree we had an angel.

6. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
A dog. Every year for my birthday and Christmas I’d ask for a Dalmatian puppy but never got one and now that I’m older I can see why. We didn’t have the time to look after a dog or the money as they can get very expensive, plus we’re not allowed pets in the house and I’m sure my Mum wouldn’t appreciate dirty paw prints on her cream carpets. I’ve decided once I settle somewhere with a full time job I’m buying one.

7. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
The festive feeling I get the whole time throughout December. Christmas is my favourite time of year I love everything about it, from putting up the tree to shopping for presents, from snuggling into bed watching a Christmas film to spending the 25th with family.

I hope you all enjoyed the second part of the Christmas Tag. I really enjoy doing these kinds of posts so even once Blogmas has finished I’ll probably look for other kind of tags to fill in.
Until tomorrow,
Liv
xo

BLOGMAS DAY 17: PAPERCHASE FESTIVE FAVOURITES

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 17! Recently I’ve really started to miss being able to just hop on a bus into Manchester town centre to go on a spending spree in Paperchase, and as they don’t deliver to Australia I can’t go online and do it that way either. Their stationary and planners helped me survive uni and every year I look forward to the release of their Christmas collection. I’ve put together a post of my favourites from this year’s festive range and as they’re taking orders for Christmas until the 22nd you still have time to browse and treat yourself to anything catches your eye!

12 Days of Christmas Mug – £8
This is the cutest not-so-little mug ever. It looks quite small in the picture but the description says it’s “enormous”so this would be great for a big cup of hot chocolate with some mini marshmallows to top it off.

London Christmas Planner – £10
Whether you’re someone who likes to be organised far in advance for Christmas or you need to start being more productive around the holidays this would be a perfect way to keep on top of everything. It has separate sections for Christmas cards, gifts, and meals along with sheets for to-do lists and notes. It’s a bit late to use it this year but you could buy it now and save it for next Christmas or even use it throughout the year if you get any festive ideas.

Christmas Ball Pens – £3
You’re going to need some pens to fill in the Christmas planner and write your cards! One is black ink and one is blue. I personally prefer writing in black ink but they’re both such pretty designs I wouldn’t even mind.

Baby It’s Cold Winter Warmer Set – £18.50
This one is a little more expensive than the rest but it looks totally worth it. The water bottle and cosy would be great to use on a cold winter’s night and if you need to venture outside or if you’re running late for a lecture or work you can use the take out mug for a hot drink whilst keeping your hands warm too.

Instant Ugly Jumper Patches – £8
If you’ve not found the perfect Christmas sweater this year why not just make your own? These patches would be great to sew onto a plain jumper and you could either put them all on one or go for a minimalist look and only sew one patch onto the top corner of the chest. My favourites are the stocking and the gingerbread man.

Christmas Tree Desk Set – £10.01
I love this little set! It’s the perfect way to make your work space more festive or you could even just put it on your bedside table for a cheery sight to wake up to in the morning. The set includes the 1ft tree, 25 mini baubles as shown in the picture, and 100 tree hooks to use on the baubles and any other little decorations you want to hang up.

Santa and Friends Christmas Card Pegs – £5
Need a way to display your Christmas cards or festive photos you’ve taken over the season? These cute character pegs are exactly what you need! They come in a pack of 12 so there are plenty  for you to use up.

Snowy Character Christmas Wrapping Paper – £3.75
I love the simplistic design of this wrapping paper. If you’re behind on your wrapping this year and want to make your gifts look extra pretty then go and check this out!

Pom Pom Characters Christmas Cards – £6
Again I love the minimalist artwork on these cards, they’re so lovely. If you’re still yet to buy cards for this year I’d definitely suggest buying this set of 15.

So there you have it guys, a round up of my favourite items from Paperchase’s 2016 Christmas collection. I would loved to have bought all of these so if I’m still not back in England next year I’m going to order a load of items to home and ask my Mum to ship them over to Australia. Can’t go another year without a Paperchase haul now can I?!

Until tomorrow,
Liv
xo

BLOGMAS DAY 16: PADDINGTON CHRISTMAS MARKETS

It’s Blogmas day 16! I’ve found it quite difficult to find any Christmas markets around Sydney compared to all the German markets back home, so when I found out that there was a one-night event going on in Paddington I had to clear my plans and go. It rained all day yesterday which gave it a more Christmassy feel but it was still pretty warm so I popped on a cardigan and my Manchester Surf Society woolly hat and headed out.

When we walked into the hall there were a few stalls here and there, with a young guy playing guitar who was pretty damn talented by the way. Check out his Facebook page here. However the stall that caught my eye was the ‘Oh Fudge’ counter. Sold here were a variety of unique flavours of fudge and because you could try a sample before you bought them I tried pretty much all of them. They ranged from M&M chocolate, lemon meringue, Malteser, sour apple and watermelon, caramel, salted caramel, hazelnut coffee nougat, milk and cookies, and birthday cake. Birthday cake tasted like the cake batter before you put it in the oven which was tasty, but the caramel fudge tasted so much like Scottish Tablet I just had to buy a block.

As we walked around we passed a stall that sold candles with scents such as “Bondi Dreams”. I thought about buying a skull candle but then remembered it would probably set off the hostel’s fire alarm. There were a few stalls selling gift sets and soaps which were so lovely, and others selling handmade crafts and paintings. A personal favourite of mine was Bronte Goodison’s artwork, whose website you can find here. I fell in love with her paintings and would have gladly bought a load if I had somewhere to put them. You could tell how much time and effort was put into each piece, and a particular favourite of mine and Sophia’s was the world map.

I had actually forgotten that Helen was going to be working until I walked past the Massage Envy stall and saw her handing out flyers. I got a free 10 minute massage from one of her colleagues which was absolute bliss, and then headed off for some dinner at the hot dog stand with my mince pies.

Even though it was only a very small market and all I bought was food because I’m on a budget it was a nice evening out and finally something festive to do in Sydney.

Until tomorrow

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 15: THIS TIME LAST YEAR

Blogmas day 15 is upon us and the weather in Sydney is 18 degrees, dull and raining. Its so weird how the past few days have been scorching hot at 35 degrees but overnight the temperature has dropped by nearly half. Actually I don’t know why I find that odd considering the weather back home dramatically changes every hour…

I’m currently waiting for three packages to arrive from home which I’m super excited for because they’re all from my Mum and I don’t actually know what’s in the first parcel, so it’s going to be a nice surprise when it finally arrives. This time last year I would have still been in my student house juggling a load of uni deadlines and starting my revision for January exams. As I mentioned in a previous post I’m appreciative that I’ve got a break this year from the stress of uni work so I can enjoy Christmas without having revision and deadlines on the back of my mind. I worked so much during college and uni to the point where my Mum banned me from revising on Christmas Day because I needed a break.

Usually my Mum and I spend the day watching festive films and eating our body weight in Christmas food, but last year we decided to do something different and head up north to Glasgow to spend it with family. This was really nice because it meant I got to see my favourite pooches, Cody and Skye, and see my Gran and Granda around the holidays which I don’t usually get to do. Scotland is freezing, and I mean FREEZING, this time of year which does make it feel more festive but at the same time I hate waking up cold in the morning. 

I think it’s nice to experience Christmas somewhere other than what you’re used to, which is why I’m glad I’m in Australia this year. Home will always be there for when I eventually come back, and I’m sure once I’m back I’ll be complaining about how much I miss the beach days and hot weather.

Until tomorrow,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 14: FAVOURITE YOUTUBER’S VLOGMAS

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 14! We’re over half way there now which means we’re getting even closer to Christmas Day! Only within the past few months have I started to watch vloggers like Zoella, Joe Sugg, the SacconeJolys, Alfie Deyes and Tanya Burr. At the end of November I caught up with all 24 days of Zoella’s 2015 vlogmas and now I get excited every time I get an email notifiying me a new video has been posted.

I don’t know what it is about vlogs that interests me so much. Maybe it’s just human nature to be nosy about the day-to-day lives or of others or maybe it’s just that watching people’s vlogmas videos and seeing them do festive things gets me into the Christmas spirit. Either way I love watching them.

Zoella’s vlogs have the cutest intros and I think hers feel more Christmassy than Joe or Alfie’s, so for that she’s my favourite vlogmas vlogger this year. In a way her videos make me want to go home for Christmas because of all the festive things there are to do in the UK, but I also know how cold it is back home right now so maybe not.

Anyway that was just a little post I had in mind for today as I’ve not really had time to do a long post. I’ve been Christmas shopping for my friend Maya and it’s been 34 degrees and so humid in Sydney today which has made me feel really ill. I’ll be back writing longer posts tomorrow though as I’m free the whole day.

Until then,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 13: THE CHRISTMAS TAG

Hello and welcome to Blogmas day 13! A blog that I’m really enjoying reading at the moment did a blogmas post on the Christmas Tag, where bloggers answer a couple of questions about the festive season, so I thought why not give it a go and I actually quite enjoyed it. There are two different tags that I’ve seen around so I may do the other one too in a few days time. If you want to check out Tania’s post you can find it here, and without further ado here’s my little take on the tag!

 

What is your favourite Christmas film?
Oh but I have so many! Elf is definitely up there with the top few, it always puts me in such a great Christmassy mood! Jingle All the Way holds a special place in my heart though because my Mum and I always watch it every year as soon as it comes on TV.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?
I don’t think I have you know. I’ve had a Christmas up in Glasgow where there’s been thick snow on the ground but it didn’t actually snow on the day itself.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey is so catchy and every time I hear it I can’t help but join in. I was actually singing along to it yesterday morning whilst showering, so apologies to anyone whose ears I probably made bleed.

Do you open any presents on Christmas eve?
Nope, never. My neighbours would always open one present each on Christmas Eve but my Mum never let me, which I’m glad about because otherwise I would’ve had one less to open on Christmas morning.

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to the most this year?
The past few years I’ve visited the Manchester Christmas markets with my Mum and my uni housemates, but I won’t be able to do that this year. So instead I’m looking forward to the Aussie tradition of having a BBQ on the beach wearing a Santa hat.

What is your all time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?
Is shortbread classed as a festive treat? If yes then shortbread, if not then gingerbread cookies with Christmas decorations, like the ones Helen and I made.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
Definitely New York. I want to ice skate outside the Rockefeller Center, take a stroll in the snow through Central Park, and celebrate the countdown to the new year in Times Square.

Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I’d like to think I’m a pro-present wrapper, but in reality I probably fail miserably. I love wrapping presents though it really gets me in a Christmassy mood.

Are you doing the Christmas Tag this year? Or have you seen any other tags you think I’d like to fill in? If so let me know in the comments and I’ll check out your post!

Until tomorrow,
Liv
xo

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BLOGMAS DAY 12: STAFF BOAT PARTY SHENANIGANS


Hello hello and welcome to Blogmas day 12! Last night was the Wake Up staff Christmas party, and what better way to celebrate than on a boat!? I was sober pretty much the whole night because I’m not a big drinker but my goodness I’m feeling exhausted today. 12 hours of being out in the sun and partying really takes it out of you.

We started at 1pm in Roy’s cafe until a private bus took us to King Street Brewhouse in Darling Harbour. This is where I started to feel light-headed because of the heat so I stopped drinking, but everyone else was starting to get quite merry which was a great sight to see. At 4 our boat arrived and we boarded. I’ve never been on a private boat before so I felt proper fancy and the staff were so lovely. It was free alcohol the whole time we were on there and a DJ played inside the lower level. We cruised out of Darling Harbour, under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House, up to a secluded beach in North Sydney, and bearing in mind we were on the boat for around 2 hours before we docked it was safe to say most people were already steaming by the time we got there. 

Getting off the boat with a load of inflatable unicorns and rafts was interesting to say the least, the parents on the beach looked a bit baffled but the kids ended up playing with the inflatable raft so at least they were content. My personal favourite was the inflatable unicorns, which were like the swans I always see on the YouTube summer parties and luxury instagram pages so I was really in my element at that point. Oh and did I mention FREE PIZZA? Free Dominos is the way to my heart and there was enough to feed us three times over, so thanks Dave and Dev!

After a few too many slices of pizza and a game of cricket we boarded the boat and made our way back to Darling Harbour. By this point you could see how drunk people were and I’m surprised no one fell overboard (here’s looking at you, Tiemen)… The two hour journey back was filled with music, drinking and a lot of bad singing, if you can even call it singing. I don’t have any photos from after we got off the boat but we went to Cargo and ended up back at Side Bar. 

It was such a great night and I’m so glad I get to live and work with these lot, they’ve really made my time in Sydney a memorable experience and I’m going to be so lost without them when I eventually leave Australia (if I leave, that is). Hope you all enjoy my collection of favourite photos from the day! Most were taken on my Go Pro but some were from other people’s cameras and phones so apologies that they’re all different sizes and filters.









Much love,

Wake Up Family

xo